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More Power for Rwanda


A man walks past electricity pylons outside Johannesburg. (May 15, 2012.)

Rwanda’s power supply is getting a boost thanks to American company ContourGlobal’s new Kivuwatt 25 megawatt methane gas-to-power plant.

Rwanda’s power supply is getting a boost thanks to American company ContourGlobal’s new Kivuwatt 25 megawatt methane gas-to-power plant.Speaking at the inauguration ceremony for the Kivuwatt Power Plant on May 18th in Kibuye, U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda Erica Barks-Ruggles complimented the American company that worked to complete the project and reach full commercial operation. “It is truly a remarkable feat of engineering and persistence that has helped turn on the lights for nearly 45,000 Rwandan households,” she said.

Ambassador Barks-Ruggles told the distinguished participants in the ceremony, including Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda; Minister of Infrastructure James Musoni; and President and CEO of ContourGlobal Joseph Brandt:

“By demonstrating that the methane gas from Lake Kivu can be harvested on a commercial scale, through a bankable gas-to-energy project, ContourGlobal has also paved the way for future projects that will bring even more electricity to Rwanda. One of those projects is the expansion of ContourGlobal’s own investment in Rwanda through Phase II of Kivuwatt, which will add an additional 75 megawatts to Rwanda’s grid. That is enough electricity to bring an additional 150,000 Rwandan households on the grid and to expand existing capacity by an additional fifty percent!”

ContourGlobal’s efforts have proven that science and engineering work on a large scale, the Ambassador noted. “This has lowered the risk for other companies both in Rwanda and in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, and has also lowered the cost of financing for future projects so that they can be brought on line faster and more cheaply to harness this unique energy resource.”

“We are not only helping Rwanda turn on the lights,” said Ambassador Barks-Ruggles, “but we are training Rwandans to keep those lights on, and providing them with the knowledge and tools to expand job creation in their communities, and build their future.”

In conclusion, she noted that she looks “forward to seeing even more U.S. companies work hand-in-hand with our Rwandan partners to develop innovative projects to provide needed power to Rwanda’s people and create jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.”

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